So, how did it all start? In the early 80’s, Craig was a CPA/tax attorney that realized he didn’t enjoy doing tax returns for a Big 8 accounting firm. His solution was to jump into real estate using his business acumen and maverick style creativity, powered by an innate ability to create and exploit the tools of Excel mastered over the years working at Touche Ross (now Deloitte). Craig was an early pioneer using personal computers and digital tools to customize and build proformas, sensitivity analyses, and the financial positions of the “opposing side,” giving his clients an edge in negotiations.
“There is a world of difference between most brokers who talk a good game, and Kinzer, who really performs more than promised; achieving extraordinary results.”
Bob Watt, Former Deputy Mayor / City of Seattle
Accordingly, with these skills and the team philosophy of Kinzer’s being honed and strengthened over the years, he continues to build a track record of formulating and executing creative real estate strategies, and/or seemingly impossible deals. Craig’s strategic and tactical advice, using his customized financial and communication tools, always manages complexity yet communicates simply. The creative part of Kinzer’s deals may also involve “outside of the box” transactions. But this more complex approach is only employed if needed to deliver the most advantageous win-win deal, as Craig always starts with the premise “simple is best.”
“Kinzer delivers real estate solutions that match our innovative spirit. I was impressed with his ability to stay nimble, truly adapting and communicating with our fiercely data-driven culture and decision-making process.”
Geoff Deane, former General Manager and Vice President / Intellectual Ventures Laboratory
Kinzer’s success is also due to his strong belief in gender diversity, as well as building a team with diversity of thought, experience, and skills. Craig built a firm of brokers and staff with backgrounds in law, finance, appraisal, research, hospitality, and technology industries. Kinzer further enhanced his team approach by engaging with best-in-class professionals in all aspects of the real estate industry.
Kinzer credits much of his success to his industry relationships and the knowledge of others. After first understanding what the client sees as the perfect outcome, Craig gathers the right group of local industry experts as a confidential advisory team, regardless of when their expertise might be bid out or when their company’s work is needed over the term of the assignment. Moreover, much of his client’s success comes from all the support he has enjoyed from the best real estate attorneys in the business.
“Craig was one of the first in our market to recognize that multi-disciplinary teams were a differentiator, offering to prospective clients a broad scope of real estate services. It led to decades of shared successes on behalf of, among others, the City of Seattle, Adobe, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Russell Investments and Seattle Children’s. He was a terrific partner.”
David Victor, Co-Founder and Managing Director / Seneca Group
This select group from different disciplines (under NDA) are all looking at the assignment from multiple angles within the industry, problem solving, and coming up with creative ideas from day one. Kinzer manages to gather the best and brightest in the real estate industry in small part because of his reputation, but more due to the nature of his clients and/or projects, and his emphasis on “no limits” brainstorming combined with a high level of “fun factor”.
“Kinzer is just passionate about his clients. He is really fun…and kind of crazy.”
Jan Hendrickson, Former CEO / Sound Transit
Instead of focusing just on the transactions, Kinzer works to create relationships with each executive and works hard to gain their trust, allowing clients to genuinely share their industry strategy, company strengths, weaknesses, and/or fears. This philosophy of understanding the client beyond just its real estate needs and earning their trust has allowed him to advise on many issues that only tangentially touch real estate or facilities. This has led to Craig helping clients solve problems through their real estate strategy, or just as a “pro bono“ business advisor outside the real estate assignment.
“Craig thrives on learning the complexities that comprise his client’s enterprise. His genius is to somehow find unexpected connections between those complexities and create real estate solutions that solve for other financial, cultural or strategic issues as well.”
Michael Kreis, former Principal / NBBJ
The results of this approach have allowed Kinzer to successfully site, lease or develop over 30 standalone global or regional headquarters for many of the area’s major corporations, government entities, research institutions, and large tech companies.
“Most real estate people are transaction-driven. Kinzer is relationship-driven. When you meet someone who’s as interested in the relationship as the transaction, that’s a rarity, an anomaly. It gets your attention.”
Howard Schultz, Chairman emeritus / Starbucks Corporation